The Borough of Woodland Park, Township of Little Falls and Borough of Totowa have joined together in a newly redesigned Passaic Valley Regional Flood Control Board.
Last November, the Township of Cedar Grove determined that since the impact of possible flooding from the Passaic River and the Peckman River have a much greater impact on the Woodland Park and Little Falls, by ordinance it withdrew from the previous board, according to Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark.
Flood control administrative codes in Woodland Park, Little Falls, and Totowa have all been amended by ordinance for the new structure by the respective governing bodies.
Little Falls will function as lead agency for the new flood control board. Improvements and or programs to protect the public health, safety and welfare proposed by the board will require each town to authorize, and approve all projects and establish funding requirements prior to moving forward with said project.
The Passaic Valley Regional Flood Control Board consist of 15 members, all appointed by the local mayor and councils. Little Falls and Totowa have not yet appointed their members. Representing Woodland Park will be Councilman Joseph Spinelli, Department of Public Works Superintendent George Galbraith, mayor’s designee Thomas Lawler and residents Angela Jones and Steven DiPaola.
Moving forth, the new board is looking forward to utilizing a track hoe that was funded by a $150,000 grant by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Kazmark noted. A number of shoals in the waterways were identified for removal this year.
The board also aims to endorse a plan recommended by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the NJDEP for flood mitigation along the Peckman River.
Little Falls will see major infrastructure changes in this plan, Kazmark noted, but Woodland Park and Totowa will benefit as well as water will be diverted from the Peckman River to the Passaic River via a diversion tunnel that will cross the Paterson Avenue fields in Little Falls. This project will require federal funding which is not yet secured.